Now that you’ve created your prospect list, decided on the prospecting methods and come up with a daily action plan, it’s time to start tracking your efforts. This is where most salespeople fail. They have all the right intentions when they get started, they have success prospecting, close a few accounts, and then they get lost in the feeling of temporary success that they forget to keep their pipeline full of new leads.
One of the most important aspects of the sales process is to always have new prospects in your pipeline who eventually lead to new customer accounts. The easiest way to mess this up is to not track your sales efforts. Simply keeping daily log of the new prospects you contacted, the accounts on which you follow up, and the new accounts that you closed will speak wonders to you. Here are some of the benefits to keeping a sales log:
Data Tells You Where To Focus
Let’s pretend its the end of the month and you are reviewing your sales log for the previous month. Maybe your sales log looks something like this:
- 200 new cold prospect contacts made
- 600 follow up contacts made
- 30 new energy bills received
- 1 new closed account
The scenario above indicates that this salesperson is great at prospecting and following up. He made 200 new cold prospect attempts (roughly 10 per working day) and followed up with each prospect three times (200 cold prospects x 3 = 600 follow up attempts). He is even pretty good at getting energy bill copies from his prospects with a success rate of 15% (30 bills from 200 prospects). Where he needs help is in closing the deal. He only closed 1 account out of the 30 bills he acquired. A good energy broker can help you with your closing skills to increase that ratio.
Let’s look at another scenario:
- 20 new cold prospect contacts made
- 30 follow up contacts made
- 15 new energy bills received
- 7 new closed accounts
This salesman is a great closer. He was able to secure 15 energy bills from 20 prospects, and he closed 7 new accounts! The number of new cold prospects, however, is incredibly low! Imagine if he applied the same effort as salesman 1. He would have closed 70 new accounts!
The numbers do not lie, and they help to keep you on track to achieving your goals as a retail energy broker.
Data Keeps You Accountable
Not only can your sales log show you where you are weak and need training, but a good sales log will also keep you accountable to your goals. It is very easy to lay off the gas pedal when you just closed a few accounts. You are happy about your recent success and the daunting task of cold prospecting seems like it can wait for another day. Wrong. Not only is the best time to cold prospect after you just closed a deal due to your positive attitude, but you have to keep feeding your pipeline with new leads or your funnel will run dry in a few weeks.
Have you ever wondered why you can stay consistent with closing new accounts? Do you have a few good months and then seem like you can’t close anything? The reason has nothing to do with your sales skills. It is all about your prospecting efforts. People are emotional and no one wants to feel rejected when cold prospecting. Salespeople do everything in their power to avoid it. They attend trainings, they make plans with managers, and they think about the future – all in an effort to avoid the most emotionally-grueling task of all, cold prospecting. And, there’s no better excuse to skip a day of prospecting like a newly closed account.
“Why make cold calls today? I just closed a deal!”
-The Unsuccessful Salesman
Keeping a sales log holds you accountable to always feeding your pipeline with new prospects. Again, the numbers do not lie, so when you go two days in a row with sub-par prospecting numbers, you only have one person to blame. No matter how busy you are closing new accounts, you must find time to prospect!